Ep. 25: Thoughts on Change

Change is one of the few things we can be certain of in life. However, it’s not always easy, nor do we always change the ways we want to. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the month of Ramadan and wanted to share some thoughts with you. Hope you find them useful.

 

Quran
“names your parents called to” 53:23
“God does not change the condition of a people until they change what’s in themselves” 13:11

 

Hadith
“Whoever doesn’t concern themselves with the affairs of the Muslims is not from amongst them”, al-Tabarani
“begin with yourself then those next to you”, Muslim
“all of you are shepherds and all of you are responsible for their flock”, Bukhari and Muslim
Story of Sayyiduna Umar, Bukhari
“The best of actions are consistent, even if few”, Muslim

 

People Mentioned
Walt Whitman
Bob Dylan

Ep. 22 Islamic Spirituality, Pt.5

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.

 

 

Episode Notes

2:17 tools of the path
2:36 tool #1: absolute adherence to Sharia and sound belief
4:22 tool #2: persistence
7:31 tool #3: lessening of particular things in the beginning of the path
12:43 tool #4: remembrance (dhikr) and contemplation (fikr)
22:36 tool #5: the need for a teacher and instructor
23:24 conditions for finding a spiritual teacher
29:38 what to do if you can’t find a teacher

Selected Notes

Imam Nawwawi’s Book of Remembrance
Conditions for finding a teacher
Purification of the Heart
Ghazali translations

Quran Mentioned

The people that remember God standing, etc., 3:191
Remember God often, night and day, 33:41
Indeed by remembrance of God the heart is tranquil, 13:28
If My servant asks of Me, Indeed I am near, 2:186
Ask the people of remembrance if you don’t know, 16:43

Hadith Mentioned

“Best of actions consistent even if few”, Bukhari
“Enough for the person is a couple of morsels of food per day, but if he can’t…”, Tirmidhi
“Will people enter into hell fire with other than the harvest of their tongues?”, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah
“Everything has a polish and the polish of the hearts is the remembrance of God”, Bayhaqi
“Remember God until people say you are crazy.”, al-Hakim
“The Prophet was in the service of his family”, Bukhari
“Chains of transmission is from the religion”, Muslim
“Never given an option except that he chose easiest of options.” Abu Dawud

People Mentioned

Ibn Arabi
Abdullah Ibn Mubarak

Ep. 21: Islamic Spirituality, pt4

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.

 

Episode Notes

3:09 an overview of principles of the Path
3:17 principle #1, God is the goal
7:11 principle #2, the one who gazes, doesn’t arrive
10:56 principle #3, time is the most important commodity
17:29 principles #4, not about arriving first, it’s about sincerity
19:51 principles #5, with time worship becomes easy
22:01 principles #6, takhliyya (removing bad traits), tahliyya (gaining positive traits), tajalli (illumination)
26:32 principle #7, spiritual experiences and insights

Selected Links

Rabia’s poetry
Purification of the Heart

Quran Mentioned

If my servant asks of Me, I am near, 2:186
It is difficult except for the sincere, 2:45
And when they rise to pray to they rise lazily, 4:142

Hadith Mentioned

“Worship God as if you see Him”, (Muslim)
“Be with Allah and don’t be concerned”, (I miss spoke and this is a common statement, and not a hadith)
Playing with your spouse is a form of worship, (Bukhari, Abu Dawud, al-Bayhaqi, and al-Tabarani)
“Indeed knowledge is by acting knowledgeable, and kindness is by acting kind.” (Tabarani)

People Mentioned

Rabia al-Adawiyya
Imam al-Shafi
Hamza Yusuf

Ep. 20: Islamic Spirituality, pt 3

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.

 

Episode Notes
2:24 overview of hadith of Gabriel, and the parts that make up the whole
3:32 overview of the differences between the body, the soul, and the self
4:12 multiple words for the self in Islamic literature
5:40 the three goals to existence as outlined in the Quran
15:00 the nafs is referred to in different names in the Quran
15:50 the 7 levels of the nafs
19:30 the focus historically is how to traverse these levels
19:50 the five subtle things
22:45 the importance of past experience
25:10 moving into the practical side of Islamic spirituality
30:00 the importance of traversing these levels as a fundamental approach to Islamic spirituality

Selected Links
Movie The Terminal
Levels of the self article

Quran Mentioned
“enter into Islam completely” 2:208
“we have not created jinn or humans except to worship” 51:56
“created you on earth and asked from us to build it (development)” 11:61
“blessed is he who has improved their nafs…” 91:9-10
“the self that calls to bad actions” 12:53
“blameworthy self” 75:2
“mutmainna nafs” 89:27
“made faith believing to you and beautidued it inside you….” 49:7

Hadith Mentioned
“be in the world like a traveler” Bukhari
“worshiping God as if you see Him” Muslim
“Companions are best generation” Bukhari
“next person to come in is a person of paradise” Ahmad

People Mentioned
Imam al-Shafi
Imam Malik

Ep. 19: Islamic Spirituality, pt2

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.

 

 

Episodes Notes
2:30 quick overview of three major areas that makeup the intellectual paradigm of Islam
4:09 how we answer basic questions within an Islamic framework
7:20 Islamic spirituality is based on the Quran and Sunna, but also human experience of those before us
9:40 the example of the circle as representing orthopraxy/orthodoxy in Islam
11:20 the path to God is the radii in the circle example and represents an infinite amount of paths to God, based on orthopraxy/orthodoxy
14:00 the importance of knowing the basics of Islam
18:00 the challenge of knowing what spiritual practices to follow
19:45 identifying who/what is a human being: body-soul-self
22:10 the usage of these terms is not always consistent within Islamic literature
23:37 the self (nafs) is what makes us morally responsible
25:20 the relationship between the heart and purification
28:15 can’t have just the outside of Islam, need the heart to be rectify

 

Selected Links
Book of Remembrances by Imam al-Nawawi
Moral obligation – taklif

 

Quran Mentioned
“No coercion in religion”, 2:256
“Except the one that comes to Allah with a sound heart”, 26:89
“They ask you about the sou”, 17:85
“Do they not reflect the Quran or are there locks on their hearts”, 47:25
“Blessed is the one who purifies their self, etc.”, 91:9

 

Hadith Mentioned
“Joy in breaking fast”, Sahih Muslim
“Indeed in the body is a morsel of flesh, if it is set right, the body will be set right,” Both Bukhari and Muslim
Hadith of the khawarij reading the Quran and not penetrating their hearts, Sahih Muslim
“taqwa is here”, Sahih Muslim

 

People Mentioned
Imam Bukhari
Imam Junayd
Imam Nawawi

Ep. 18: The Power of Supplication

Supplication (dua) is one of the greatest tools we have. While Ramadan is usually a time we focus on that, this episode shares why it’s important as a daily routine.

 

Quran Mentioned
“Fasting has been prescribed upon you, as it was prescribed on those before you” 2:183
“Remind them of the days of God” 14:5
“If you sought to count the blessings of God you would not be able to enumerate them” 16:18

Hadith Mentioned
“Supplication is worship”, Ahmad
“Supplication is the head of worship”, al-Tirmidhi
“Whoever doesn’t ask God, He becomes upset with”, Ahmad
“Ask God and be certain in the response”, al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim

People Mentioned
Imam Ghazali’s book on supplication
Ibn Atta’ Allah

Ep. 17: Islamic Spirituality, pt1

One of the richest traditions Islam has is its spiritual tradition, or Sufism as it is more commonly known. In this 5 part series I introduce the richness of this tradition from a bird’s eye view perspective and offer some practical tools in later episodes that I have found to be tremendously useful in all aspects of my life.

 

 

Episode Notes
3:52 the hadith of Gabriel as a framework for the Islamic sciences
8:02 this hadith explains the entirety of religion, which contains these four categories
8:41 “islam” in the hadith is about correct actions or orthopraxy
9:18 definition of the Shari‘a as a human enterprise
12:05 definition of “iman” (faith) and orthodoxy
15:34 definition of “ihsan” or spiritual excellence
16:49 signs of the Final Hour and eschatology
19:35 eschatology as part of theology within the Islamic intellectual framework
20:17 Islam’s spiritual tradition and the importance of personal experience
24:02 How the Islamic sciences developed after the Prophet’s time
25:40 the hadith of Sulayk as an example of plurality in interpreting the Quran and Hadith
37:02 the diversity of Islam’s spiritual tradition
46:13 why this series is important and what we’re not going to talk about

 

Selected Links
Nostradamus
Zoroastrianism
Hinduism
Buddhism
Manichaeism
Zarathustrta
Vedas
Peripatetic philosophy
Tahafut al Falasifa
Tahafut al-Tahafut
Neil DeGrasse Tyson on al-Ghazali
School of M’arifa

 

Quran Mentioned
“Our minds cannot comprehend God”, 6:103
“Nothing is like Him”, 42:11
“People that belief in the unseen”, 2:3

 

Hadith Mentioned
The Prophet was given eloquence of speech, Muslim
“No harm and reciprocal harm”, Muwatta’ of Imam Malik
Gabriel hadith, Muslim
“Destiny is whatever hits you was meant to hit you”, Ahmad and Abu Dawud
People wearing musical instruments on their ears, Nisa’i

 

People Mentioned
Sayyida Nafisa
Imam Shafi
Ibn Arabi
Al-Kindi
Al-Farabi
Ibn Sina
Ibn Rushd
Mulla Sadra

Ep. 16: The First Friday in Ramadan 1439/2018

Welcoming the month of openings, the month of victory, and the month pf purification. Some high-level thoughts to help us gain more from the blessed month of Ramadan.

 

 

Quran Mentioned
Chapter of Victory (Fath): Chapter 48
“Fasting prescribed to have taqwa”, 2:183
“If My servant asks about Me, indeed I am near”, 2:186

 

Hadith Mentioned
“Doors of heaven are opened, doors of hell fire closed”, Bukhari and Muslim
“Allah was and nothing with Him”, Bukhari
Eve of first day of Ramadan and eve of Eid day are days of forgivness, Bayhaqi
“The Prophet was the most generous of people”, Bukhari
“Die before your actual death”, this is not an established hadith, but rather a statement of the Sufis.
“Person only gets hunger and thirst from their fast”, al-Tirmidhi